Category Archives: Plant of the Month

Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackfoot daisy

Blackfoot daisy: Melampodium leucanthum Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Perky white, daisy-like flowers on a tidy, compact mass of dark green, linear leaves. 3/4″ Flowers may obscure foliage. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering. Must have good drainage to avoid root rot. Gardener’s notes: Long blooming, April to October, with occasional irrigation. Heat loving. Native to El Paso. Grow seed in place as deep taproot makes transplanting difficult. Southwest Plant of the…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackbrush Acacia

Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 18′ x 10′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Flower Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, 2-3″, fragrant, pale yellow to golden flowers in spring. Dark colored bark on rigid, thorny branches. Care and Maintenance: Needs training when young if single trunk habit is desired. Thorns. Slow growing. Freeze damage possible in very cold winters. Gardener’s notes: Large shrub or small tree. Dark bark and rich green foliage provides attractive contrast in the landscape. Native to eastern…

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black locust – Robinia pseudoacacia Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 50′ x 25′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Tree has an open sparse branching habit. Bark is deeply furrowed. Showy display of creamy-white fragrant flowers in the spring. Care and Maintenance: Weedy, thicket-forming if not controlled. Thorns. Root suckering can become a nuisance. Gardener’s notes: The wood is hard and dense. Often used as posts because wood is rot-resistant and strong. Once widely planted for shelter belts, and…

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black dalea – Dalea frutescens Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3’ x 5’ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Purple Physical Description: Low round, mounding shrub with small green, compound leaves, densely covering spreading, pale creamy branches. Numerous purple pea-like flowers obscure foliage, late summer/ fall. Care and Maintenance: Occasional pruning may be needed to keep plant compact and foliage dense. Rabbits and deer graze young plants. Gardener’s Notes: Native to Chihuahuan desert of Texas/ New Mexico. Good accent or ground cover.…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Big Bend Silverleaf

Southwest Plant of the Month Big Bend Silverleaf Leucophyllum candidum Plant Form:  Shrub Plant Size:  4’ x 4’ Plant Type:  Evergreen Water Usage:  Low Sunlight:  Sun Colors:  Blue, Purple Physical Description:  Densely foliaged, compact, rounded shrub with soft velvety, silver-gray leaves and stems, and intense deep blue-violet flowers following heavy rains from late spring to fall. Very drought tolerant. Care and Maintenance:  Overwatering and/or poor drainage will quickly kill this plant. Gardener’s notes:  Naturally tidy and compact in full sun. Chihuahuan desert native with several cultivars released by Texas…

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Banana yucca (Yucca baccata)

Banana Yucca

Banana yucca – Yucca baccata Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: White Physical Description: Short, sword-like, stiff but sometimes slightly twisted or curving, semi-succulent leaves with a sharp spine at the tip, arise from a crown at or just above ground level. The rosette of encircling leaves encases a clustered mass of thick, waxy, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers whose outer petals are streaked red-brown to maroon. Spring flowers are followed by large banana-shaped…

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Baja evening primrose --Oenothera stubbei

Baja evening primrose –Oenothera stubbei

Southwest Plant of the Month: Baja Evening Primrose –Oenothera stubbei Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 6” x varies Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, partial shade Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, graceful, yellow flowers in the spring and summer. Mat form­ing ground cover with narrow linear, deep green leaves on multitude of long vine-like stems. Flowers rise above foliage on individual 6″ long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Avoid overwatering/poor drainage. Watch for flea beetles. Aggressive spreader in irrigated settings. Some freeze damage…

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Angelita Daisy

Angelita daisy Tetraneuris acaulis (Hymenoxys acaulis)

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Tidy, compact mounds of gray-green leaves scarcely noticeable under a nearly continuous year-round display of numerous, solitary, yellow daisy-like flowers on long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering/poor drainage. Difficult to keep up with removal of persistent spent flower stalks without shearing off new flower buds. Gardener’s Notes: A wonderful, drought tolerant, cold-hardy, ever blooming addition to the desert garden. Native to Texas, New Mexico…

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Autumn Sage

Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month: Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Semi-evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow Physical Description: Brilliant 1″ flowers slightly above glossy, bright green aromatic leaves on woody, densely foliaged branches. Flowers normally cherry red to pink but also white, yellow, orange, rose and purple. Care and Maintenance: Pruning required to reinvigorate foliage and blooming. Spittle bugs. Odd colored flower varieties often not…

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G. bipinnatifida

Desert verbena Glandularia spp.

Southwest Plant of the Month: Desert Verbena Glandularia spp. (Verbena spp.) Plant Form: Ground Cover Plant Size: 1′ x 2′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Pink, Purple, Red Physical Description: Flat-topped spikes of pink, lavender, rose to purple flowers on mounds of gray-green to deep green, three cleft or lobed and toothed leaves. Stems and leaves are often hairy. Care and Maintenance: Generally short-lived. Periodic shearing prolongs and renews the plant. Drought tolerant but periodic irrigation yields the best floral and…

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